Oh December! I wait for you every year. A whole month of parties and delicious food!?
I wish it could be like this all year.
This weekend I am participating in one of my favorite traditions… the cookie swap! My girlfriends and I meet up every Christmas with enough flour & butter to spread cheer well into the new year. Pair with wine, hot cocoa, and holiday movies (Love Actually, Home Alone, The Holiday) it doesn’t get much better. While I count down the hours until I get to bake and hang with my fav ladies, I thought this would be a perfect excuse to round-up the cookie recipes I have been eying.
I don’t know where to start!? No bake peppermint patty bars? Chocolate Peppermint Cookies? THE Christmas cookie?
It’s a good bet that I will have a sugar hang-over on Sunday. And for this special occasion, I am perfectly OK with that.
Recipe and Photo: Shape Magazine
Recipe and Photo: Oh She Glows
This recipe offers both a traditional and vegan version. I love the idea of dipping lemon cookies into chocolate! Fun for kids & parties.
Recipe & Photo Credit: Food Network
Recipe and Photo Credit: Kathy @ Lunch Box Bunch
Recipe & Photo Credit: Joanna Vaught
Well, there you have it! 5 amazing Christmas cookie recipes that are worthy of Santa’s plate.
What cookies are you making this year?
For some reason, most of my friends birthdays fall during the month of May. It also happens to be one of my favorite months of the year as it includes my own birthday and our annual strawberry picking day.
This year I decided to give out homemade gift baskets filled with my lemon-parsley salt (coming soon), lavender sugar cookies, strawberry jam & champagne! A perfect way to celebrate Mays delicious treats: lavender, strawberries, and lemon!
These sugar cookies feature one of my favorite spring herbs, lavender. My mom loves the smell of lavender so every time I make these cookies, I think of her. Be sure to use culinary lavender which is specifically made for cooking; flowers from the florist are often treated with pesticides.
Lavender Sugar Cookies
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup Earth Balance butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dried culinary lavender
Grind the lavender and sugar together in a food processor to make a fine powder. In a bowl, beat butter and lavender sugar together with a stand or hand mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla, flour, and salt and bend until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
Mix dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter (I used a strawberry cutter). Sprinkle with course sugar (optional) and place the cookies onto a lined cookie sheet.
Place into a 325 degree oven and bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on cooling rack.
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I admit I’m pretty lazy when it comes to baking. Although I love to cook, rolling cookie dough doesn’t give me the same pitter-patter that rolling pasta does. However, my mom recently gave me these Valentine’s Day cutouts and I was inspired to make some delectable treats.
I loosely followed The Kind Diet’s shortbread recipe as I don’t like cookies that are too sweet. I added some melted margarine as I like the buttery flavor it provides, but you could also use all oil. Tweak as you see fit!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups white pastry flour
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate icing:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup maple or corn syrup
2 tbsp. canola oil
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking power, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: extracts, oil, syrup, and butter. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. This worked perfectly for me but if the dough is too dry, then add a tbsp. or so of cold water. Make a ball of dough, wrap in plastic or a cloth and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough and cut using whatever cutters you have on hand. If you don’t have cookie cutters, roll your dough into a log and slice off cookies from the end.
While the cookies are baking, combine the syrup and oil in a double boiler set over simmering water. Stir in the chocolate chips until they are melted.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes on a baking rack and then dip into the chocolate. Leave plain or top however you like… nuts, sprinkles, candy pieces… whatever your valentine loves most!
The nutrition information varies a lot depending on what size cookie cutter you use, but if you make 24 cookies, 1 cookie with chocolate: 148 calories, 6g fat, 22g CHO, 1.8g protein.